Peter Doig

I'm not trying to make paintings look like photos. I want to make paintings using photos as a reference, the way painters did when photography was first invented.

In the catalog for a 2003 exhibition of work by Peter Doig at the Arts Club of Chicago, Jennifer Higgie wrote that Doig “paints scenes that resonate with a kind of deep thoughtfulness or stillness. (Paintings are pools you see things in.) The images he makes are full of the feeling that both you and what you are looking at are on the threshold of something you can’t quite describe and can’t always anticipate… . Looking happens all the time. You walk down a street and see yourself in shop windows. You look up at the sky and see faces in the moon. But despite the fact that you’re constantly on the lookout for something recognizable or reassuring, there is nothing literal about what you end up seeing or knowing…. There is much going on in Peter Doig’s pictures, despite their stillness, wild, even dreamlike shifts in time and place, despite their often seemingly ordinary subject matter.”

Doig lives in Trinidad, having moved there from London in 2002. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959 and lived in Trinidad from age three to seven. At that time, he moved to Canada with his family. He is sometimes referred to as a Canadian artist, sometimes a British artist. At the age of twenty, he left Canada for London where he enrolled in art school and graduated with a B.F.A. in 1983. In 1982 and 1983, his work was shown in the New Contemporaries exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Doig earned an M.F.A. at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1990, and in 1991 he received the Whitechapel Artist Award, which included a one-person exhibition in the Whitechapel Gallery, his first in a public institution. That year, he also received a Young Artist Award in a group exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. In 1994 he was a finalist for the prestigious Turner Prize, and his paintings were shown at the Tate Gallery. Also in 1994, he had his first shows with the Victoria Miro Gallery in London and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York. In 2018 Doig received the Medal for Painting from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in New York. His prints are published by Paragon Press in London and Crown Point Press in San Francisco. His paintings are in several public collections, including the Tate museums and art galleries in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Provinzial in Düsseldorf in Germany. He is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

-Kathan Brown, Crown Point Press

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